The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has cautioned state governments against intervention on federal roads without due approval by the Federal Government.
Fashola gave the warning while inspecting ongoing federal projects in the Southeast yesterday, in Abakiliki.
He said the warning became necessary following the huge debts inherited by the federal government and the need to forestall the accumulation of such debts arising from interventions on federal roads.
The minister called on state governments wishing to intervene on federal roads to ensure that due approval and permission was granted by the federal government.
“For anybody who wants to intervene on federal roads, you must first ask for permission and if you don’t do so, you have broken the law.
“You cannot break the law to please people. We understand that your citizens need the road but you cannot do evil to please them,” the minister said.
He said such practice was unacceptable and that to intervene on federal roads, “you must apply to us, we must see the standard and then refer it to Mr President in council.
“So, I am using this opportunity to repeat that no state government should intervene on federal roads until we have finished payment of the debts we inherited.”
He added that even if a state government does not want to be reimbursed, it must still seek approval.
He said the application for such intervention must state categorically that the state government was not ready to wait anymore and would want to intervene on the road without reimbursement.
Fashola said the federal government was awaiting legislation and debt financing approvals to authorise payment of the refund to state governments that executed federal projects.
He said the federal government had, through a committee constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari, concluded the process of collating claims of various state governments.
“We have collated the total amount; we went on inspection and validation and we have sent a memo to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on it.
“FEC has directed that the Ministry of Finance take up the whole claims with debts in other areas,” the minister said.
He noted that what was left was the legislation to authorise the payments.
According to him, it is a lot of money that cannot be paid without going through appropriation and debt financing approvals.
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